Tuesday, April 28, 2009


Kerri, whose blog "Siabra" is so worth visiting, had a suggestion today. She said to pick up the book nearest you, open it to page 73 and quote the third line in our blogs. I did that and found this: "...and would have dinner at one or another of our houses..." The book is Joan Didion's The Year Of Magical Thinking. I wasn't going to quote it at all as it hardly seemed worthwhile, but go to what I mention in the next paragraph and then realized Kerri probably had a very specific reason for the request.

I remembered a poem Didion quoted in the book which had been compiled by her husband right after his younger brother's suicide. I decided it was far more important for me to quote this poem as I wanted it always near me to ponder upon.

I quote it below. It is on page 32 and is by Gerard Manley Hopkins, who is now counted among the leading Victorian poets.

O the mind, the mind has mountains; cliffs of fall
Frightful, sheer, no-man-fathomed. Hold them cheap
May who n'er hung there.
I wake and feel the fell of dark, not day.
And I have asked to be
Where no storms come.

My mind quakes at these words but somehow they give me comfort.


JKB said...

This is the perfect poem for me today.

Thank you.

marsh to the fore said...

I hope your post which I'm about to go to will tell me the why of your words. I am glad they help, somehow. It is an amazing poem, isn't it?